LSU vs Texas A&M Odds & Picks: Trust KJ Williams & Co.
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: KJ Williams (LSU)
LSU vs. Texas A&M Odds
-110o / -110u
|Texas A&M Odds|
-110o / -110u
LSU and Texas A&M will meet in College Station fresh off a pair of games on the road that had very different outcomes for both teams.
For LSU, they travelled to take on Kentucky where they were ultimately outlasted 74-71, in what was a highly contested battle.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M notched their first victory against a team inside the top-100, taking down Florida, 66-63. The Aggies needed Florida to miss a three as time time expired to avoid going to overtime in Gainesville.
How each team will respond coming off two very different experiences in their previous games will be crucial in what is sure to be another close SEC battle.
Matt McMahon’s first year as head coach of the LSU Tigers has gone rather smoothly as the Tiger’s only loss in non-conference came in a neutral site game against a very talented and experienced Kansas State team.
What will be important to monitor for LSU will be how they handle playing premium competition on a nightly basis. The Tigers rank 294th in overall strength of schedule, with only two of their twelve wins coming against teams inside the top-100.
The Tigers have been led this year by C KJ Williams who has been a matchup nightmare for LSU’s opponents. Williams is averaging 18.8 points per game, which includes shooting over 50.9% from the three-point line. Williams is second on the team in made three-pointers with 29 on the year.
KJ Williams is shooting lights out so far this season: 98th %ILE in catch-and-shoot threes with 1.19 PPP.
The senior forward erupted for 23 points, including 4-for-6 shooting from downtown pic.twitter.com/8dcrHcQXwi
— ShotQuality (@Shot_Quality) January 4, 2023
This ability to spread the floor will be crucial against an Aggies team that has allowed their opponents to score 38.3% of their points from beyond the three-point line, the 23rd highest rate in the country.
Additionally, LSU will have a favorable matchup on the defensive end against an Aggies team that has struggled to create penetration so far this season.
LSU has allowed their opponents to score 55.2% of their points from two-point range, which is the 63rd highest rate in the country. Unfortunately for the Aggies, this is where they have struggled, scoring just 49% of their baskets from close range (246th nationally).
LSU will have the matchups against Texas A&M to get back in the win column.
The Aggies are coming off their biggest win of the season, escaping overtime against Florida in Gainesville. Texas A&M was led C Julius Marble who had a season-high 17-points to lead all Aggies scorers.
— Barstool Texas A&M (@BarstoolTexasAM) January 5, 2023
What was important to note was Texas A&M’s ability to get a win despite shooting just 2-16 from three point range (12.5%). The answer can be found in the Aggies ability to get to the foul line at one of the highest rates in the country.
So far this season, Texas A&M is scoring 25.9% of their total points from the free-throw line, which is the 3rd highest rate in the country. Against Florida, Texas A&M racked up 28 total free-throw attempts, converting on 18 of them.
However, this ability to get to the free-throw line will be tested against an LSU team that has been able to defend without fouling this season. The Tigers have only allowed their opponents to score 15.7% of their points from the free throw line, 295th nationally.
Without their normal level of production from the charity stripe the Aggies half court offense will have to produce in order to keep pace with the Tigers. This is an area in which they may struggle, shooting just 31.3% from three-point range, 279th nationally.
To make matters worse, this LSU team will not look to give Texas A&M any opportunities for outside shooting progression. The Tigers rank 16th nationally in three-point defense, allowing an average of just 28.2% from beyond the arc.
If Texas A&M’s offense wants to keep pace with an LSU team led by the explosive KJ Williams, they will need to improve their production in the half court.
LSU vs. Texas A&M Betting Pick
Overall, I like this as a bounce back spot for LSU facing an Aggies team that just got their most emotional win of the season against Florida.
The Tigers offense is primed to take advantage of an Aggies defense that has struggled defending the perimeter this season.
Additionally, LSU will not give the Aggies nearly the same level of free opportunities at the free-throw line that they have used to keep pace with many teams this season.
Look for LSU’s offense to keep them in this one, and even give them a chance to steal a victory on the road.